Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas Cookie Traditions

Picture courtesy www.adirondackbaker.blogspot.com

One of the most exciting parts of the Christmas season is all the baking and cooking I get to do. Along with baking around 12-13 dozen cupcakes a week, I now have an excuse to bake even more! Last year, I started what I am going to make as a family tradition. Everyone in my family chooses their favorite cookie, and I bake it for them!! That way we have this ridiculous amount of cookies around and everyone gets their favorite plus a sampling of all the other choices. My family is very traditional, and they are not big on trying new things. So, I always try and make a new kind of cookie for myself to get a little variety in there.

Since Erika  and I have spontaneously decided to add a little adventure in to our lives, I am attempting to cram all of this baking in to the week and a half. Not to mention, the Christmas party I am baking cupcakes for next week. Needless to say, I am a little overwhelmed, but excited all at the same time. I think the hardest part for me will not be packing my entire wardrobe for a 7-day road trip!

Anyways, I wanted to share with you guys some of the cookie recipes I'll be baking for Christmas! (No, I am not going to make cupcakes. My family gets to eat them almost every night.)

My father's favorite cookie is a Thumb Cookie. I never make them any other time, but Christmas. I'm not sure why. It may be the pound of butter in them, but they are certainly not difficult to make. Regardless, they are rich and crunchy and topped with a drizzle that adds the perfect sweetness to the creamy, buttery taste of the cookie.

Thumb Cookies
1 C shortening, room temperature
1 C butter, room temperature
1 C brown sugar
4 eggs, separated
1 tsp. vanilla
4 C all-purpose flour
1-2 C chopped walnuts

Directions: Preheat the oven to 375 F.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
Add in the egg yolks until combined. Add the vanilla.
In three additions, slowly add the flour. Mix until combined.
Beat egg whites until frothy.
Roll the dough in small balls. Dip the dough in the egg whites and roll in the chopped walnuts.
Place on baking sheet and make a thumb print in the cookie.
Bake for approximately 5 minutes.

Picture courtesy of zooyummy.com
Drizzle:
2-3 Tablespoons butter, softened
1-1 1/2 C powdered sugar
3-4 T milk
a few drops of food coloring (your preference on the color)

Cream the butter. Add the powdered sugar until combined. Pour in the milk. You want the mixture to be fairly runny. If need be, add some more milk. Pour the drizzle in the middle of the cookie once cooled. Enjoy!!

My mother loves Snowballs, also known as Russian Teacakes. Once again, we only ever have these during Christmas time!

Snowballs
Yields: 4 Dozen
1 C margarine*
1/2 C powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanill
2 1/4 C all-purpose flour
3/4 C chopped walnuts
powdered sugar for dusting

Directions: heat oven to 400 F. Mix margarine, 1/2 C powdered sugar and vanilla. Stir in flour and salt and nuts. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake until set, but not brown, 8-9 minutes. Roll in powdered sugar while warm; then cool. Roll in powdered sugar again.

*I used half butter half margarine.

Picture courtesy of makefive.com
I have only made the dough right now because I want to bake them on Christmas Eve. The dough is stored in the freezer for now. It is nice to know that they are ready to bake when I am!!!

Hope you guys enjoy!! I would love to hear what cookies you are baking for your family. This weekend I will be making Roll-em up cookies, chocolate chip cookies, triple chocolate cookies, and I'm thinking about macarons for myself!!

Merry Christmas, bloggers and Happy Baking!!

3 comments:

The Style Glossary said...

I'm definitely going to be trying out those 'thumb cookies' they look super yummy! My mom always makes the snowball ones every Christmas season so to me they are just so festive!
And now I'm craving cookies, haha :)

hearts and hugs,
Nina

Erika of Style Activist said...

Oh my goodness, can you make me macarons?! I have been craving them for weeks!

Loved this post - who doesn't love cookies?

:D
XOXO,
style activist

Meghan Rae said...

You have to let me know how you like them!!!! Hope you have a Merry Christmas!! Take pics :)

Styleactivist,
I will definitely make you macarons!! I'm so excited to try them. They are pistachio creme brulee macarons.YUMM

-Meghan Rae